SOLO: THE SURVIVORS OF CHAOS VOL.1
Writer/Artist: Oscar Martin
Colorist: Diana Linares & Oscar Martin
Translation: Pau Rodriguez
Publisher: Titan Comics
Song: When All the Light Dies by Jedi Mind Tricks
They say that dystopian trope is overused, especially in the world of comic books. Our predictions of the post-apocalypse are pretty much the same. We, as humans, have been digging ourselves into a global grave with the impending ravages of nuclear power. The end result is a world reverted back into a time where everything boils down to the most base of instincts. Survival, by the most necessary of means. Many books before have touched on this and many more will most definitely follow. What sets Solo apart from the ones before it is in its execution.
Oscar Martin’s Solo: The Survivors of Chaos is the story of a young rat coming of age in a desert wasteland where there are more predators than prey. In his world, the links in the food chain constantly interchange, and at any given moment, even the most formidable of predators can fall victim to the next. Solo’s story begins with his family and the fact that there is simply not enough to go around for them to survive. The solution being for him to finally step out into the world on his own, to fend for himself and to survive. This sets off a chain of events that eventually lead to Solo’s imprisonment within brutal coliseum where he is put to the test of life and death daily for what seems to be years.
Solo’s character can best be described as Achilles reborn as a rodent under the guise of Ridley Scott’s Gladiator. Panel by panel, the sequences of movement are fluid and intrinsic. The anger fueled action scenes are unapologetic and quite possibly the most visceral I’ve seen Frank Miller’s work in the 1980s. The grit and grime of Martin’s art almost make you forget that you’re watching a bunch of animals kill each other to the point where it’s almost human-like in its violence.
Now, I’ve gone on a bit about the art, but the true gem in this series is Solo’s internal monologues. From beginning to end, you see the young rat change into something else completely. Solo is a testament to the old saying, “You are a product of your environment.” And with each step up in Solo’s character growth, the more profound his views on his environment become.
This being the first Volume in a series finally released to English speaking audiences has me fielding for more. This volume does end on an upbeat and hopeful note, but there is a trend of sporadic fluctuations throughout this story. it’s only a matter of time before our hero falls once more. So whenever the next volume is released, I will more than gladly speak of it again to the high heavens.